Netherlands
Oud West

Here you’ll find travel reports about Oud West. Discover travel destinations in the Netherlands of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

31 travelers at this place:

  • Jun19

    Johnny’s post

    This morning I was woken by Abba again at about 10:30 from a fantastic sleep due to the much-needed help from a melatonin pill. Immediately we headed out to our little café near us for a lovely candlelight breakfast. I enjoyed a small meal consisting of a latte, orange juice, yogurt with berries, and a croissant. Abba had a bacon and cheese omelet while Grammy had some sunnyside up eggs. We were all worn out by our strenuous walk back to our houseboat (about 50 ft), so we decided to rest for the next hour or two.

    After our much-needed rest, Grammy and I decided to venture out to downtown as Abba continued to rest his bad back and needed recovery from being beaten so severely in Oh Hell the previous day. On our walk to the Jordaan, we stopped by a street vendor and picked up some famed Amsterdam French fries with mayo and curry sauce! After our snack Grammy and I walked in the direction of the Anne Frank statue. Grammy using her Rick Steve’s Guide to Life was looking all around on the map for the statue while I, being a person who uses my eyes and looks around, kept pointing out to Grammy that “It’s right in front of us, it’s right in front of us.” She says to me “One second, I’m looking for the statue of Anne Frank.” Finally, she looks up realizing it is right in front of her face. Me being a gentleman let it go. After this encounter, we decided to visit some little shops, a Delft pottery shop which had some beautiful pottery and a cheese shop where we bought some excellent goat cheese. We decided that it would be a good time to go back to our houseboat as we thought Abba might be getting lonely without us. We arrived and found Abba sitting at the kitchen table while a plumber tried to fix the heating to the shower, to no avail. We still have no hot shower. After getting that disappointing news, we decided to go to take a break and eat some of our delicious cheese while watching the FIFA world cup.

    After our snack, we went for another walk to the Leidseplein to get a canal tour. Sadly, there were no more tours there for the rest of the day, so we had to take a tram all the way to Centraal station to get one. During it, we viewed many a sight while trying to figure based on the flags on the machine what languages we could listen in. Some beautiful sights we observed on our tour consisted of a modern white building (I know, so descriptive), the Maritime museum which looked similar to a boat, and some boats and a bunch of bridges we were scared would destroy the top of our ship every time we went under them. After our lovely boat ride and lots of photo taking we decided it was an excellent time to head back to dinner near the Leidseplein. After looking around, we decided to go to a Mexican restaurant recommended to us by Paulo’s sister Melena (who checked us in). I got four delicious beef tacos, while Abba and Grammy shared some tortilla soup and chicken mole enchiladas. Stuffed thoroughly, we started our walk home from dinner just in time to catch the final game of today’s world cup matches, while I write this blog.

    Grammy’s comments

    I believe Johnny has my number with the Rick Steve’s “Guide to Life”—LOL. I do tend to travel with his book or map in my hand, pointing out sights along the way. And, yes, occasionally I do have my head in the book instead of seeing what’s in front of my face! It was great fun to go exploring with Johnny in one of my favorite parts of Amsterdam. The Jordaan area is one that we also explored with Jack on his trip two years ago.

    The homemade fries stand was a lucky find. The Dutch fellow behind the counter, sporting round red glasses, chatted with all of the customers. The woman ahead of us told him there is now curry flavored ketchup in the US. He looked at her disdainfully and said, “Anything you have in the US, we had here first!” We got our fries piping hot and perfect (topped with curry ketchup!). The little cheese shop was neat, too. We tasted pesto gouda that was bright green and truffle cow cheese, and we eventually decided to bring back an aged goat cheese, Johnny’s choice.

    The canal tour was a great overview of Amsterdam and had narration pointing out many of the interesting places we were passing. It’s got the added advantage of being completely relaxing—great for three jetlagged souls who want to see it all!

    Abba’s comments

    Johnny really captured the highlights—I can’t think of anything to add, except that we got real mole at that Mexican restaurant (Los Pilones), and this spoiler alert. It’s now the next morning, and we have hot water in the bathroom sink! (The shower hasn’t been tested yet—Johnny hasn’t gotten up, and we want to make sure he has hot water when he’s ready.)
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  • Jun16

    Rocking the Golden Circle

    June 16 in the Netherlands

    By Johnny

    In the morning we woke up at a bright and early 8:30 to go get breakfast and catch our tour bus. For breakfast we went to a lovely little bakery/restaurant called Sandholt. After breakfast we went to our bus stop and waited in the pouring rain for our little tour bus. After about 20 minutes we boarded and made our way to our first destination, Pingvellir, the canyon where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia split which also happened to be where the Parliament of Iceland was formed. Although it was an awesome view I believe the best thing we saw on the first stop was Abba almost walk into the women’s restroom instead of the men’s. A little fun fact about over here is that they call restrooms “water closets”. After a walk through the picturesque national park, we hopped back on the bus to our second destination, the Geysir Geothermal Field, with Strokkur, a geyser which was beautiful even though it smelled like rotten eggs. After watching it erupt a couple times, we made our way to lunch. We had a way overpriced yet tasty lunch, consisting of wings, lamb soup, and a burger. Fun fact: Gnats are the most annoying bugs ever. After a nice meal we got on the bus and we all took much needed naps. When we arrived for the first time in a while we were able to see the sun! There we spent about 20 minutes taking pictures of Gullfoss, a great waterfall, and we even got a glimpse of a rainbow or two. After boarding our bus, we headed to our final destination called the Secret Lagoon, although it seemed to be not so secret at this point. Grammy and I went into the lagoon for a lovely dip and beautiful scenery. Abba didn’t go into the lagoon with us but took the opportunity to take pictures of us. After our lovely dip we got a snack and drink and got ready for our 1.5-hour bus ride back into Reykjavik. After getting off our tour bus and thanking the guide we decided to get dinner at a lovely restaurant called 73. There Abba got a burger, Grammy got an Arctic Char and I enjoyed a lovely Greek salad. Although the dinner itself was wonderful I believe that the best part of the meal was dessert as we enjoyed a chocolate lava cake and delicious vanilla ice cream with homemade whipped cream.

    Grammy’s comments

    Getting out of Reykjavik and into the countryside is a must in Iceland. I was struck by the varying landscape—gorgeous soft mountains, lava fields covered with moss, waterfalls, fields with deep rifts formed by the movement of the tectonic plates (North American on the left, Eurasian on the right as we walked through the canyon), traditional farms and pastures, and every so often geysers and hot springs. Since there aren’t many trees, there is not much to block your view. I felt the vastness of the place and the wild nature of much of the country. Our guide, Iceland native Inga, spoke of the “interior” with reverence for its dangers, unpredictability, and beauty. I feel so honored to have seen at least a little bit of Iceland for myself and happy Johnny urged us to make this journey.

    Abba’s comments

    Johnny and Grammy pretty much said it all. The things that struck me were how little I felt like getting up at 7 a.m. to get ready to go, have breakfast, and catch the tour bus; the weird black volcanic rocks covered with bright green moss that we had seen a lot of from the bus from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik and saw again from the tour bus; the high peaks in the distance with snow packs and glaciers; falling asleep on the tour bus every couple of minutes, waking up to be tourists, and then falling asleep again; having a nice long conversation about education over coffee with Inga while Johnny and Rebecca were lounging in the Secret Lagoon; and continuing to marvel at the prices of everything in the most expensive country in Europe and possibly the world, but still being really happy to be here.
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  • Jun18

    Wooden shoes, anyone?

    June 18 in the Netherlands

    Grammy's post

    Like all the days so far, today started waaaaay too early! Rich and I woke up at about 3:00, a few minutes before our 3:15 am alarm. Rich had arranged a 4:00 am taxi to take us to the BSI station to catch a 4:30 bus to the international airport. It’s about a 45-minute ride, so we needed to allow plenty of time for our 7:40 flight. Ugh!! It was not pleasant to get up so early with all of us still suffering from jetlag. But I consoled myself with the promise that this was the last day we’d have to do such a ridiculous start time (or even an early one) because there is nothing scheduled for the mornings from here on out. Johnny gets to sleep until the sun gets warm –something he is greatly looking forward to. I have to admit both Rich and Johnny were fairly cheerful even though there was no place to get coffee until we got all the way through security, an inhuman situation if ever there was one!

    The Reykjavik airport was sort of zoo-like—crowded and disorganized—but we made it through all of the hurdles and enjoyed breakfast and a quiet corner of the waiting room to regroup before boarding. The plane was about 45 minutes late departing, but the flight was smooth. One nice little surprise was that since today is Iceland Day (in honor of their independence), the flight attendants served everyone a little square of traditional chocolate cake with a tiny little Icelandic flag!

    We arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport late and found the train to Amsterdam Centraal, the central station. Once there, we got tram passes for the week and caught a taxi to our Airbnb houseboat #511, across from 25 Jacob van Lennepkade. We love it! There are two nice bedrooms and a big living room-dining room combination, one bathroom, and a kitchen. The best part is the big windows providing us with great views of the boats and ducks on the canal.

    Once we got settled, we strolled half a block to a little neighborhood place called Café Toussaint. We sat outside and enjoyed watching a friendly gathering of Dutch families visiting, playing ping pong, and drinking while their children played together in the little playground area next to the café. We had a wonderful lunch! Rich ordered a chorizo and cheese toastie on brown bread (actually an excellent grilled sausage and cheese sandwich); Johnny had an open-face sandwich of thinly-sliced beef topped with capers and a delicious mystery sauce; and I had a quiche with a fabulous salad with grilled vegetables. We agreed to head back there for breakfast tomorrow morning.

    We came back and napped briefly while watching the World Cup game between Germany and Mexico. Germany is the defending champion, but Mexico beat them 1-0 to much celebration. By the time that game was over, it was time for dinner. Since we had had a late lunch, we ate light at a Vietnamese place called Miss Saigon just down the canal from us. We shared appetizers and all split one main dish.

    Then it was back to the houseboat to watch Brazil vs. Switzerland. It’s kind of nice to have the World Cup games today. Watching is a great activity to do together while relaxing and catching up on our blog!

    Abba’s comments

    It felt good to get back to Amsterdam, always one of my favorite cities. Staying in a houseboat on an Amsterdam canal has been on my bucket list for decades, and even though I have nothing to compare it with this one seems like a really good one. The little neighborhood café where we had lunch was a wonderful surprise, and just hanging out in the houseboat resting and watching a couple of World Cup games without feeling a need to Do Something was just what the doctor ordered. (Sadly, Brazil, whom I always root for, didn’t win—the game ended in a 1-1 tie, which was a dirty shame because the Swiss player who scored on a header clearly pushed off the Brazilian defender to give himself a clear shot…but I’m not bitter.) Tomorrow we Do Something—canal boat tour, Van Gogh Museum, rijstaffel, who knows what else…or we may just nap.

    Johnny’s comments

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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  • Jun18

    Showers are overrated anyway

    June 18 in the Netherlands

    Abba's post:

    This could turn out to be the worst day of my life. Grammy and Johnny and I are playing Oh Hell, and I bid 2 on a deal of 6 and I’m playing it perfectly, and it’s down to two cards and I’ve got the two of spades and the six of diamonds in my hand, neither is trump, and it’s Johnny’s lead. A round of diamonds has already been played, and the only way I can lose is for him to lead a diamond lower than the six, which the odds are heavily against…and he leads the three of diamonds. He’s definitely out of the will, and furthermore…oh yeah, Amsterdam, I’m supposed to be blogging about Amsterdam here…oh well….

    So we have some of our usual middle-of-the-night jet-lagged wakefulness, but we finally fall asleep and go until close to 9, and we’re hungry, but Johnny’s still sleeping and we don’t want to disturb him because he’s had to get up early pretty much every morning since we first got to Iceland, so Rebecca goes to take a shower and finds that we have no hot water in the bathroom, either in the shower or in the sink, although weirdly enough the water in the kitchen is plenty hot…seems like this may not be the B&B of our dreams after all…the guy who is renting it to us is also out of the will…you just can’t count on anyone these days, and…oh, right, Amsterdam.

    So we resign ourselves to going showerless and stinky today. Rebecca calls Paulo, the guy who manages the houseboat in the owner’s absence, and he’s at work but says he’ll get here at 4 this afternoon and see if he can figure out what’s going on with the hot water…he’d better if he has any hope of being in the will. We notice that it’s 10:30 am now and decide that if Johnny hasn’t caught up on his sleep by 10:30 am, tough, and I wake him up. He deals well with it. We decide on pancakes for breakfast, do some web research and locate a pannenkoekenhuis on the nearby Leidseplein, head out in a drizzling rain which after we’ve gone a block or so turns into a driving rain, but are we discouraged? No, we are not—we don’t even know the meaning of the word. After another block we’ve learned it, but we forge on, following Google Maps to the alleged location of this alleged pancake house and not seeing anything even close…if Google thinks he’s going to inherit a penny from me he can think again…we ask the concierge at a local hotel who points us in one direction, nothing…then we ask someone behind the counter at a tourist agency, nothing…finally we stumble on it right in the middle of the Leidseplein and go in and get a table and share a bacon and cheese pancake, a lemon and sugar pancake, and a strawberries and vanilla ice cream and whipped cream pancake. Rebecca and I have a vague memory of once having been on a low-carb diet, but decide that we’re hallucinating. While we’re at the restaurant Rebecca has a grueling online battle with the Van Gogh Museum, trying to reserve tickets for us this afternoon, and finally wins it. We finish our pannenkoeken and waddle back to the houseboat. (I’m guessing that after this trip I’ll never again have occasion to write that last sentence.)

    We hang out in the boat for an hour or two, watching Belgium beat Panama 3-0 after playing evenly for most of the game, working at our computers on this blog or whatever, or dozing off for brief periods, and then it’s time to head out to the Van Gogh. We find the closest #3/#12 tram stop, take it to the stop closest to the museum, get off, head to the Van Gogh, and see a sight I’ve never seen in the many times I’ve been to Amsterdam: all those iconic buildings—the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh, the Concertgebouw, all sparkling clean! Even the venerable old Rijksmuseum down the road, which I’d only ever seen black with the grime of centuries, is shining with what looks like freshly sandblasted red brick and sparkling white trim. I’d previously noticed that the buildings in Amsterdam look cleaner now than I’ve ever seen them and almost completely free of the graffiti that used to cover almost every building wall and door, but this was high drama.

    We go through the museum and enjoy it as always, make our way back to the tram and our boat away from home, hang out some more, get a message from Paulo that he’s tied up at work but will come by to take care of the problem by 5 for sure, and we could head out to dinner with untroubled minds. We head out with deeply suspicious minds, walk to Leidseplein, catch a #2 tram to Spui (pronounced Spow with the slightest tinge of a U at the end) and walk to the Restaurant Kantjil en de Tijger for an excellent rijsttafel, that wonderful multidish Indonesian meal. Some of the seasonings get pretty exotic and I’d hesitate to subject many teenagers to it, but it’s no problem for Johnny, who has broader and more sophisticated tastes in food than most much older people I know. We order a rijsttafel for two and have more than enough food for the three of us, then tram back to Leidseplein, walk back to the houseboat, and find that our suspicions were justified and we still have no hot water in the bathroom. Paulo shows up after a while and says that there’s a problem. We keep our astonishment at this news in check and ask what happens next, and he says not to worry, he’ll show up with a plumber tomorrow and get it all straightened out. His assurances provide no relief at all. He disappears into the night and we settle down for the evening, entertained by Tunisia and England battling it out on TV and visions of cold showers in the morning dancing in our heads.

    Johnny’s comments

    As I write some comments Abba is off taking a nice hot shower (just kidding). Alas today we have resorted to turning into little babies and taking our showers in the sink as not to smell as the geysers in Iceland (sulfur). Since I have now been officially taken out of the will, it seems that the only just thing to do from here is to let you know how much Abba is afraid of bugs and bees! He is so afraid of these thing that at our lovely breakfast at the Café Toussaint he jumps out of his chair in fright screaming like a little girl every time a bee flies by. Whoops never mind that's me who does that. Abba may believe that when I woke up at 10:30 I was dealing with it well. He is so very wrong! He can just wait come 2:00 am when I am still awake, he might have me coming in his room telling him “it’s already 2:00 time for breakfast!” Hopefully that will show him not to awake me from a deep slumber.

    Grammy’s comments:

    Okay, those two are tough acts to follow, so I won’t.
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  • Day35

    Amsterdam

    August 21, 2017 in the Netherlands

    20th August 2017.
    Had a relaxing day. Slept in then Ainsley and I went shopping while the guys went to the museum.
    What a good plan. He! He! Found some side alleyways with nice clothes made only in Amsterdam.

  • Day34

    Amsterdam

    August 20, 2017 in the Netherlands

    19th August 2017.
    Today was the last day of our cruise. Staying at Hampshire American. A real old building but nice. Right in the heart of the city. Had a look around the side streets and around canals. Came across a lovely flowers market.

  • Day3

    Last evening

    June 3 in the Netherlands

    Tomorrow I wanted an early start, so I only planned to stay out until it got dark enough to see the canals at night. Well...the sun sets at 10pm. Whoops.

    I got about 40 miles in total in just over a day here. I feel like I could ride around Amsterdam forever and not get tired of it. Especially the canals - beautiful and lively during the day, dark and peaceful at night. I'm sad to leave it.

  • Day2

    Day 2 - Amsterdam arrival

    June 19, 2016 in the Netherlands

    Chris here. We arrived! Got here early this morning and decided to bike around Vondelpark and the canals to stave off the jet lag. Definitely started to feel the 1 hour of sleep. We walked around the city for a while and were so loopy from lack of sleep we forgot where we locked up our bikes. It didn't take us too long to find them, but the fact that there are 5 billion bikes in this city didn't helpRead more

  • Day4

    SILVESTER

    December 31, 2016 in the Netherlands

    Leckeres Raclette wird gefuttert. Dann geht es zum Anstoßen auf den Wohnheim Dachterasse. Leider ist es etwas neblig und man hört mehr von den Raketen als man sieht :D ABER garkein Problem wenn man Wunderkerzen hat :D Dann gibt es ein kleines Problem mit der Fahrt zum Club. Der Nahverkehr wird in Amsterdam an Silvester um 20Uhr eingestellt HAHAHAHAAAA. Naja "pünktlich" um 3 Uhr nachts sind wir dann am gewünschten Partyort angekommen und es wurde noch eine Runde getanzt. Ereignisreiches Silvester mit kleinen Herausforderungen :))Read more

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